The Prime Minister yesterday reported on the European meeting he had recently attended. Once again he used the occasion to lower his office, playing crude politics instead of answering the questions put. At a time of financial crisis the nation would appreciate engagement with serious points from all parts of the House and country rather than juvenile political tricks and ill informed propoganda.
The benches behind him were far from full. He ploughed on, lecturing Mr Cameron that he was isolated in Europe. The PM seemed isolated in the UK. All his grandstanding as a Euro statesman is ceating an ever bigger gulf between him and the electors,and between him and his own MPs. Once he had finished both his Statement and his prepared rant against the Leader of the Opposition, it became embarrassing to him that there were not nearly enough Labour MPs willing to ask him a question to keep the show going. The House had to continue with just Opposition questions until proceedings could be brought to a merciful end for a PM who was losing the plot.
He didn’t even try to answer my simple question of how much total UK state borrowing and guarantees now amounts to.
The two main poitns he made from his “summit” were his enthusiasm for more transparency, and his dislike of protectionism. He fails to explain why this transparency does not extend to an honest balance sheet for the UK as a whole. He has yet to tell us how a large devaluation and heavy subsidies for the banks relates to his crusade against protectionism.
He did honestly report his continued love of more regulation and more borrowing as the ways out of the crisis, which was itself brought on by overborrowing and wonkly regulation.